Russia and India seal nuclear deal

President Medvedev makes first official visit as part of drive to strengthen defence ties.

    Medvedev's three-day trip is his first official visit to India since becoming president in May 2008 [EPA]

    The deal comes after India signed earlier this year a nuclear pact with the US, giving New Delhi access to civilian nuclear fuel and technology on the international market for the first time in three decades.

    Overturning a US ban on nuclear trade instituted after India first tested an atomic device in 1974, the US pact provides India with access to nuclear fuel, reactors and technology to generate power for its 1.1bn plus people.

    Expanding ties

    Medvedev was greeted on Friday by Shivshankar Menon, the Indian foreign secretary, and a junior foreign minister, Anand Sharma, before meeting Manmohan Singh, the prime minister.

    Russia, now one of the world's biggest arms exporters, has been expanding diplomatic and trade ties with a number of countries.

    Moscow recently conducted joint military exercises with Venezuela, a vocal critic of America.

    Medvedev also said Moscow would assist India's investigation into last week's Mumbai attacks that killed at least 171 people. He indicated Russia would also be prepared to help on broader issues connected to "fighting terrorism".

    The three-day visit is Medvedev's first official trip to India since he took over as president in May this year.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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